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15 cm SK L/45
German gun from SMS Bremse - - 118942.jpg
Gun salvaged from SMS Bremse, at the Scapa Flow Visitor Centre, Hoy, Orkney
Type naval gun
railroad gun
coast defense gun
Place of origin German Empire
Service history
In service 1908—1945
Used by  Germany
Wars World War I, World War II
Production history
Designer Krupp
Designed 1906—08
Manufacturer Krupp
Barrel length 6.71 metres (20 ft)

Shell separate-loading, case charge
Caliber 149.1 millimetres (5.87 in)
Breech horizontal sliding-wedge
Recoil hydro-spring
Muzzle velocity 840 metres per second (2,800 ft/s)

The 15 cm SK L/45[Note 1] was a German naval gun used in World War I and World War II.

Naval service

This gun was fitted as the casemate-mounted secondary armament in all Imperial German dreadnought battleships and battlecruisers, the armored cruiser SMS Blücher and as primary armament in the Pillau, Wiesbaden, Königsberg, Cöln and the Brummer-class cruisers. After World War I it was fitted to the light cruiser Emden.

15 cm SK L/45 Mounts[1]
Type of Mount Designation Weight Elevation Range (during World War I) Ship classes
Single pedestal mounts in casemates MPL C/06 15,770 kilograms (34,770 lb) -7° to +20° 14,900 metres (16,300 yd) Nassau, Helgoland, Kaiser, von der Tann, Moltke, Blücher
MPL C/06.11 16,533 kilograms (36,449 lb) -10° to +19° 13,500 metres (14,800 yd) König, Seydlitz, Derfflinger
MPL C/13 17,950 kilograms (39,570 lb) -8.5° to +19 13,500 metres (14,800 yd) Bayern, Hindenburg, Mackensen
MPL C/13 mod 18,350 kilograms (40,450 lb) -8.5° to +22 15,800 metres (17,300 yd) Wartime modification to MPL C/13
Single pedestal mounts in open half-shields MPL C/14 16,185 kilograms (35,682 lb) -10° to +22° 15,800 metres (17,300 yd) Wiesbaden, Königsberg II
MPL C/16 17,116 kilograms (37,734 lb) -10° to +27° 16,800 metres (18,400 yd) Cöln II, Emden
MPL C/16 mod -10° to +30 17,600 metres (19,200 yd) wartime modification to MPL C/16


It used 45.3 kilograms (100 lb) 15 cm Spgr L/4.1 HE shells with a bursting charge weight between 3.9 kilograms (8.6 lb) and 4.09 kilograms (9.0 lb), depending on how the shell was fuzed.

Coast Defense Gun

The same gun was used for coast defense duties in concrete emplacements after World War I. One example was 3./Marine-Artillerie Abteilung 604 ("3rd Battery of Naval Artillery Battalion 604") in Jersey.[2] They show it using 44 kilograms (97 lb) shells with a range of 18,000 metres (20,000 yd)

Railroad Gun

It was also used as a railroad gun during World War I.

Weapons of comparable role, performance and era


  1. SK - Schnelladekanone (quick loading cannon); L - Länge in Kaliber (length in caliber)
  1. from NavWeaps
  2. Gander and Chamberlain, p. 266


  • Gander, Terry; Chamberlain, Peter (1979). Weapons of the Third Reich: An Encyclopedic Survey of All Small Arms, Artillery and Special Weapons of the German Land Forces 1939–1945. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-15090-3. 

External links

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